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Sailor-created ‘zombie runs' to help Red Cross

Oct. 20, 2011 - 04:07PM   |   Last Updated: Oct. 20, 2011 - 04:07PM  |  
The first event takes place Oct. 22 in Baltimore.
The first event takes place Oct. 22 in Baltimore. (Kevin Chilcoat)
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Nothing puts the "fun" into a 5K fundraiser quite like the end of the world.

That's the idea behind Run For Your Lives, a series of new adventure races created by a 27-year-old sailor and slated to kick off Oct. 22 outside Baltimore.

The brainchild of Ryan Hogan, helicopter crew chief-turned-NROTC officer candidate, the event is part fun run, part music festival and part zombie war.

Hogan, a University of Maryland student, conceived the idea while brainstorming ways to kick-start sales for War Wear, his athletic clothing company. But like anything involving zombies, the "whole thing has kind of taken on a life of its own," he says. What started as a local event has spread like a virus, with races slated for a dozen cities across the U.S. and Canada. Flag-belted runners will make their way through 13 apocalypse-inspired obstacles while being chased by dozens of flesh-starved zombies.

Drawing from his military training, Hogan says "it's going to be total immersion." He recruited a few platoons of volunteers from the local National Guard and his NROTC unit to serve as military role-players.

Just past the finish line, all will be able to join the Apocalypse Party — a "safe zone" with more than a dozen live acts.

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